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Ashland - Local Town Pages

Friends of the COA Hope To Launch Two New Initiatives

The Friends of the Ashland and Callahan COA have been
busy working to develop two new initiatives for the future with hopes of launching in January 2025. 
The travel committee has been working successfully by offering many successful travel opportunities by offering many day and multi-day trips for Seniors 55 and older who are able to travel independently. Great memories and friendships have been made, and lots of successful adventures completed. All seniors are welcome to join our trips and membership to a Senior Center is not necessary.
After meeting with the Limited Vision Support group at the Callahan Senior Center in Framingham, the Ashland Friends of the COA have decided to investigate ways both Senior Centers can safely include this group of hopeful travelers in the day trips we plan for the 2025 Trip season. This gathering enlightened us to the fact that efforts need to be made to include limited-vision travelers who can find it difficult or next to impossible to navigate most movements in unfamiliar territories, which many of us take for granted: reading a menu, climbing or descending stairs, keeping pace with a group, etc.
Travel does not require perfect eyesight. People dealing with low vision just need new ways and support as they apply what they already know while navigating new territories they are not familiar with. When providing a guide, most travelers are given the guidance to figure it out. 
The Friends have begun researching grant opportunities to support any budget needs that would sustain offering a stipend to any volunteer willing to partner with a traveler and chaperone for a day. 
A chaperone’s top priority would be safety. As a chaperone, the needs of the limited-sighted traveler will be a priority. As we research further and begin planning for this program, many issues will come up that will support the planning for this Limited-Sighted Travel Program and searching for people who would be willing to become a travel chaperone.
Our second goal is to create a Senior Travel Award Program, a one-of-a-kind initiative that will not just acknowledge the invaluable contributions of our seniors but also reward them with a well-deserved complimentary day trip. Our main objective is to raise funds to bring these two distinctive programs to life during the 2025 Travel Year.
Your support is crucial in making this a reality. We deeply appreciate your consideration and hope you can make a small contribution to support these two hopeful programs. Your contribution, no matter the size, will significantly impact our ability to bring these programs to life. 
In the meantime, it would be helpful to hear from anyone who could be a resource in support of the creation of these new visions. There is so much to think about, plan for, and find financial support for going forward. If you can offer us any guidance, ideas, a reference, or are willing to donate to this effort, please contact Donna Shaw at dcshaw5@gmail or text at 508-740-8054.